Today's News: Our Take


Halle Berry is going where no James Bond babe has gone before — into her own spinoff! MGM is planning a film based around sexy CIA agent Jinx, Berry's character in the upcoming 007 flick Die Another Day (opening Nov. 22). read more


Now the major broadcast networks have another reason to hate HBO: The pay cabler is negotiating with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences to steal the annual Emmy ceremony away from ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC for the first time in history. According to reports, HBO has put a lucrative offer on the table that would move the telecast away from the Big Four networks and over to the cable channel for five years beginning in 2003. The four networks — which have aired the awards show in rotation for the last eight years — recently balked at the Academy's request to hike the annual license fee from $3 million to $10 million. read more


There were some tense moments on NBC's Today show this morning. While being interviewed by Katie Couric, out-of-control funnyman Robin Williams goofed and made a proctologist/colonoscopy joke. (Couric's late husband Jay Monahan died of colon cancer in 1998; since then, she has made colon cancer awareness and detection a major focus of her life.) Realizing his mistake, Williams quickly apologized. However, seconds later, he continued on his riff. No comment yet from NBC. read more


A 15-year-old Washington state boy suffered first-degree burns over his face and upper body Friday when he set himself on fire, trying to perform a Jackass-like stunt. His friends reportedly stood by with a video camera shooting footage that they planned to sell. "We're sorry when anybody gets hurt," says an MTV rep, "however, nothing like this incident described ever aired on the show or in the movie." read more


Clint Eastwood has been selected to receive the Screen Actors Guild's Life Achievement Award — the group's most prestigious honor. "Clint Eastwood is truly a film icon, a celebrated star of international magnitude," says SAG president Melissa Gilbert. "His prolific career as an actor and filmmaker demonstrates a total command of the medium that has rightly earned him the admiration of his peers, the industry and the public." Eastwood will be presented with the honor at the 9th Annual SAG Awards on March 9. read more


Dawson's Creek star Joshua Jackson was arrested and charged with drunkenly assaulting a security guard at a Carolina Hurricanes hockey game Saturday night in Raleigh, N.C. The 24-year-old actor allegedly grabbed the 40-year-old guard around the neck and struck him. Jackson posted $1,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court on the misdemeanor charge on Dec. 4. A Creek crew member was also arrested and charged with being disruptive and possessing marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Creek films in nearby Wilmington. read more


ABC is developing a gay version of the 1980s private eye series Hart to Hart in which a pair of interior decorators stumble upon a murder each week. The show — titled Mr. and Mr. Nash — is being shepherded by Steve Martin's production company. Alan Cumming (X-Men, Broadway's Cabaret) has signed on to play one of the two leads. read more


An arrest has been made in the weekend shooting death of television and film actor Merlin Santana. According to The Associated Press, Los Angeles police arrested a woman early Monday in connection with the murder. Authorities provided no other details. read more


"Even when he lost his virginity, he wasn't this happy." — Matt Damon on pal Ben Affleck's recent engagement to Jennifer Lopez in an interview with Extra. read more


Former Mad TV funnyman-turned-Howard Stern sidekick Artie Lange is set to produce and star in an NBC comedy playing a man caught between his blue-collar roots and his current life as a semi-successful sitcom star. Veteran Simpsons scribe Sam Simon is developing the project with Lange. read more

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